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Gizmo

Do you think that the loss of a limb ...

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..has made you a different person??

Do you view things from a different angle now? Do you think that "now that you have been through hell" nothing can upset you any more? Do you think that now you are more grateful for little things, little achievements than before? How does a disability change your world outlook? Are you mad that it happened just to you? Are you grateful to have had a chance to reorganise your life? Do you focus on other things, other priorities in life now?

Hope that this is not too personal..

xxx

Gizmo

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You know, Giz, this is interesting that you bring up this question....it has been on my mind a LOT in the past few DAYS...are you reading my mind? I look foward to what other people answer, think that we all will have different answers since we all got here on different roads.

My road was VERY difficult before, so this new road is a breeze for me. I have new hope for my future. (reminder, I had a deformed foot all my life that didnt work) I still have frustrating days, still in the tweaking months, since I am just two months post op. But before, I would have frustrating days and it would drag me down, because it would make me wonder if I was just going to get worse and worse as the years went by....NOW I know my frustrations are working toward something GOOD....if I get the wrinkles ironed out right, I get a new active life, one I could only dream of before. So basically, it has made a much happier person, more optimistic, more confident in myself....I never realized how much I HATED that old foot until it is gone and I have nothing but relief. I see my leg as 100% postitive, so when people are curious, I am excited to answer. I totally understand, though, how people who had two good legs for most of their life, then lost one, could struggle emotionally. Since I have never known "two good ones", this new bionic is the best I have ever known.

The thing I have been thinking about is a bit different though. For some reason I feel this need to purge all negative things out of my life. Maybe because things are going so well, I just want POSITIVE in my life from now on...dont have time to deal with any negatives that are not completely necessary. Example, I have a *close* friend who loves to debate things. We have polar opposite views on most things and I used to enjoy 'debating" things with her, but lately it has just become annoying to me. I dont want to waste my time, in a way, debating things with someone when neither of us will be changing our opinion....I feel like I would rather spend my time being outside, reading to my three year old, emailing my family members to keep in touch with them....and all of these feelings have just surfaced recently, as my leg has been doing great most of the time.....Dont truly understand it....sort of still figuring it out....but I think it falls under this question. Anyone else feel this way?

Judy

Utah

LBK

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Giz,

How do you know that 'we' have been through hell ? It isn't all that pleasant, no. But hell is a little worse, don't you think? How does my disability change my world outlook? :angry: umm, err :blink:

Oh Giz....i really try to understand your reason...but i fail miserably!

Jberna,

you've learnt to filter your priorities. Great! In other words, you know what is important in your life and want to invest more time/energy into it instead of wasting your time with something which doesn't 'enrich' your life at all. Understanding and applying this is part of the deal....comes with the package :D

ciao all!

K.

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Giz askes in part : "....Are you mad that it happened..."

I say :

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

'nuff said ...

( Giz , I sent you an e-mail off line . Let me know if you received or not please )

mj

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Giz,

Start a question like this you are in for a real treat or is that a real DEBATE!!!

HMMMMM have I ever been jelious of people with two feet a most definete YES but not any longer since my revision surgery. Do I think I've been to hell and back NO I think that there are a lot worse things that could happen to a person and being an amputee is not one of them. (In my opinion anyway). Do I get frustrated YES sometimes as I wish I could go barefoot like Two legged people (well I could but it's not the same, plus I have an expensive foot that I would ruin) I hated the fact that my siblings were born with all their limbs and I was the one missing one but they treated me like I had two legs so that made up for it. Although sometimes I wish it hadn't been me but I think that's normal in anything. I'm happy with my life and how I've lived it and the new direction that I'm going.

My proudest moment was the other day. I ran a 5K (3.1 mile) race that I had set a sub 30 minute (29:59) and I ran it in 29:32. When I told my husband (who really isn't that found of running) he said he was proud of me. So everything that I endured to get to where I am now was WELL WORTH IT!! :P

Brenda

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Hi, I'm not sure about a better person, but it surely has made me realize that anything can be taken away from anyone, at any moment. At first I had all the emotions that most everyone goes through, like how after 49 yrs can I adjust to this new type of life. It did make me rather angry at first, thinking why me, after all those years of having my life with both legs. Then I asked, why not me, after all it did save my life. So I had to give up one for the other and was well worth the trade, believe me. Now I can look back on those 49yrs and think, how 'Lucky' I was to have had that many years with both legs, some never get to know that quality of life even for one day. So no I am not mad/angry with anything or anyone, I just find that it takes to much of my energy, to use negative emotions on things you can't do anything about, instead I'd rather put it to use on things I can accomplish.

Personally speaking I don't consider myself as having been through hell. It hasn't been an easy road for sure, but not quite hell either. It is certainly by far the most trauamatic thing that has ever happened in my life. My feelings are now, if I can survive this, than I can survive anything. It has made me a stronger person, in that, I don't let the smaller things bother me, as much as they did once. There is one thing that I do have somewhat of a hard time with and have since day one. That is listening to others boo-hoo over something simple, it just gets to me. I realize it's perhaps a big thing to them, but after going through an amputation, those things just seem so miner, to me any ways. Like for instance, my sister complaining of her tiny veracourse veins. (sp) Gosh I wish we has 'spell check' on here! :D I just say to her, stop complaining and be thankful you have legs. But then I realize, people just can't comprehend that, any more than I could have before the amputation. So now I just let them ramble on and when they're done, I say, hope you have a better day tomorrow. It's really hard to be around negative people and I try very hard to avoid them. I just absolutely refuse to be dragged down by anyone, when I've worked so hard to pick myself up. I focus on what I can accomplish each day and let tomorrow bring what may. ;)

Sheila, LBK

Maine, USA

Keep Smiling :)

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Hurray, we have another great discussion here! And hurray again, I have managed to provoke Kaz (how predictable you are, Karen...LOL).

First of all I might have gotten carried away a bit with the expression "going through hell", a bit too much on the melodramatic side..

And I should have made it clearer that the question was primarilly directed at people who (involuntarilly) became an amputee as an adult PLUS whose surgery was a couple of years back so he/ she has had the time to get settled. It is clear to me that I must have upset people such as Marianne or Afet who are still in the process of coping and getting accustomed and for whom parts of the questions must have sounded like a bad joke. I apologize for not having been more precise.. Although I do confess that I was thinking of Marianne a bit, remembering what her friends told her and concluding that it is a way to know who is really your friend, who sticks to you and who doesn´t...

Thanks for your replies!

Regards,

gizmo

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GIZ Gurl , I just got you e-mail and thank you for your kind words ... and your thoughts . Ya, I am all over the place right now within the land of confusion and I guess anger is a stop in there somewhere too . One day .............

mj

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I think these are great questions and very valid ones too. I think I've been through all spectrums of emotion at some point, mostly in the beginning though. All in all, I believe I am a different person today than I would have been maybe not in a large extent but somewhat. The thing though that has happened that was brought on by my amputation is the fact that it really brings out the people who love you just for you and what is inside. I am so lucky to have a great family and friends but as a teenager I did have a few experiences where people were a bit "freaked out" because of my leg and did not want to get to know me for that reason only. My thought is, that's okay. I probably don't want to know anyone that shallow anyway. There have been times where I've wondered why me but as time goes by they get fewer and farther between. Plus, I choose not to dwell on something I cannot change. We do need to dwell with those feelings though when they come. Looking back, I would not change a thing. If I would have never lost my leg, my life probably would have taken a totally different path and I wouldn't be where I am today.

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Hi Gizmo

er... um..... well yes I did go through hell for 4 1/2 years. Then I had my leg amputated.

'Different person', yes definately. During those years I was in pain 24/7 and according to my family I was a miserable, moaning old git. Now I'm a miserable, moaning one legged old git :D

Everyone thought I would quieten down and fade, nah! they think I'm worse now :D

Seriously, I found out a lot about myself during those years. Good things/bad things. So I 'adjusted' (my perceptions etc) myself and feel a better person for doing so.

I certainly have achieved more now than before. Also I value so much more in life.

Best regards

Steve

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Gizmo, may I just asks you a question? I sometimes enjoy your questioning, but why do you seem to enjoy it, when you can provoke other people? That truly puzzles me, does it help you in any way? I mean as amputee's we/some

of us do get provoked, (especially newbies) quite easily. But then I would assume you'd know this, where you do post here quite often. Just curious, who knows, maybe I'll write a book one day and let non-amputees, know just how insensative some things can come across, to those of us who are amputees. Again, just curious. :D

Sheila, LBK

Maine- USA

Keep Smiling :)

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Hi. Ok, lets see if I can answer all these questions. :rolleyes: View things from a different angle? It depends, in my wheelchair, yes; with my legs on, no. :P Haven't really been thru hell, some bumps in the road of life I'd say, and I still may get upset at times, but do a lot more praying for help with that. More grateful for the little things? Just more grateful that I'm alive period! :D World outlook? See better the difficulties of the [dis]ABLED and try to point them out if possible. Mad really at myself, could have been avoided, and I'm not alone, it happens too often to too many. Grateful it has pointed me in a direction to bring me closer to family and most important closer to the Good Lord. :) That answers the last question also. ;) Vince

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Hi all,

Having read the posts so far, I would tend to agree with Sheila. For me, I think that being such a positive person with a warped sense of hunour has helped enormously. I have friends, work colleagues and acquaintances who can't talk to me about the amputation - because they don't understand how I can laugh, joke and be so positive - I tell them that I can't change whats happened and so I look to the future for me and my 2 boys. Anyway, I know so many people who have had worse thrown at them and see how they cope and adapt. For me its not been hell - I've just lost a cousin (Saturday) to breast cancer and she's left a young family - the youngest is 6 yrs old!!!! For me that's so traumatic and my amputation is not a patch on this.

Sue :(

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Giz, you didn't upset me with your questions. I think everything is relative. What seems like 'the end of the world' to one person may be a 'setback' to another. All amputees cope at different levels and stages, and cope very differently with their loss/es.

I also agree with Sheila and everybody who replied to your questions, as we all have similar experiences and observations.

Personally, I have chosen to let what happened to me change me for the positive, because I think that amputation changes ANYBODY anyway, but either for the better or for the worse. We CHOOSE the outcome. We control that part.

I find myself wanting to help others more (people of all ages), especially by giving advice (if needed) and by providing motivation/encouragement. People are more inclined to listen to a 25 year old bilateral amputee (who became deaf too) rather than a 'normal' 25 year old, who doesn't know 'what the hell they're talking about.' Maybe they see me as having more "life experience"......Or maybe they see me as a survivor.....? Who knows?

Regarding my experiences in hospital, I do feel like I've "been through hell" somewhat. Most of my memories are ones of great pain, both physically and mentally. But, I SURVIVED. I now choose not to think about them much, as I remember the pain and can get upset, which is NOT a good thing. However, my experiences have brought me much closer to God, which, for me, is definitely a good thing. God has helped me with everything, including how I cope now.

Afet

Bilateral B/K

London, England

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like most of the people who have posted to this question, i don`t see my amputation as a negative, once i get used to walking on my new leg i will be doing things i have avoided doing for the past 12yrs or so ( i say avoided cos sometimes i made myself walk thru any pain i was feeling for my sons sake, otherwise i would have curled up and done nothing. This would not be nice for my son as we do as much as poss as a family.)

I do often think why me but not cos of the amputation, more because i have been thru 5 major ops over 10 yrs resulting in the fact that i only had the one child, i would have loved to have 1 more, but it was not to be. Where-as my sis only has to look at a man and she is pregnant, she was the one that had grumbling appendicitis as a child, i was the one whose appendix almost burst. Nobody else in my family has even been in hospital( only to visit me )I don`t think why me cos i think it is someone elses turn but because i am fed up with the amount of surgery i have had over the years, now and again i think what next. Apart from the 3 operations on my leg the others were not related to each in any way, so i often think whats round the next corner.

I still think i am one of the lucky ones tho, i did have a choice, i could have gone for another op but i chose for the leg to be taken.If the op had failed again i would be back to square one, i didn`t want that, i wanted to be pain free, and thats what i am now and thats the way i stay positive, by looking forward, knowing i have a lot to look forward to.

Oh happy days! :)

Lesley, Chester UK

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Because I lost my legs at the age of 12, it feels normal for me now. When I have proper fitting limbs which are not causing me problems, I never think about, as can usually do what I want to do. However, when the limbs are not fitting me correctly, and am having problems as I have had recently, my life is completely different and I get frustrated that I am unable to do the things I want to do. I am not sure if it has made me a different person, it certainly hasn't made me more patient, as people would seem to expect.I suppose everything that happens to individuals throughout their life shapes them as a person. For myself I know I am very lucky to have actually survived and now as an adult appreciate that, however really do believe in fate and things happening for a purpose - obviously this was route I was mean't to take.

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Hi Lili

'...I might make some kind of a difference to someone, someday...even if it's just a small amount of difference, it will all have been worth it '

I believe that you as well as all of us here have made differences to others and each other and will continue to do so.

Very often when I log on to this site, there are 'guests' also here. Before I joined this site, for several months I would 'visit' and get the 'feel' of the site and its members. I was a newbie amp at the time and by 'visiting' this site I learnt a great deal which helped me with being an amp. I was hesitant at first to post, for fear of asking a 'stupid' question, but those fears were soon laid to rest. I still ask questions and get good positive responses here. Anything that may make me wonder or I'm not sure of, or I don't know I'll post.

It is good to see you post again, but take it easy.

Take care

Steve

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Yeah Lili, was so nice seeing a post from you again!! Hope you're well and that everything is going ok for you.

YOU'RE DEFINITELY MISSED!!!

Love from Afet x x x

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Hi Lili, welcome back and you are so right, I believe we all can make a difference in someone's life, just as other's have made a difference in our lifes. I feel, when something is taken away from someone in life, one gains even more from that loss. Something that may not been seen, but is gained through the heart. Take care ;)

Sheila, LBK

Maine- USA

Keep Smiling :)

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I realise that we can all help people in loads of good ways but i came accross a situation the other day that was a little upsetting. I was at physio and had just come from the hand bars and had done a couple of lengths using crutches. Everyone was saying how well i had done given this was only the second time i had been on my new leg. This guy asked me when i had my op and when i told him he got quite upset because he felt that he was getting knowhere. unbeknown to me he was almost a year post-op and was still not walking independantly ( he was still using zimmer frame ). I felt awful cos he was obviously upset and seeing my progress had not helped. The physio did tell me later that this guy was trying to hard and was not helping himself, it had become a vicious circle for him and he was now pretty depressed.

He will probably be at physio again next time, i don`t want to make him think any worse of his situation by letting him see my progress but i am not going to slow myself down either, i know we all improve at different rates, but what can i say or do to help him, i don`t want to avoid him either as i think he does need friends and support from our little physio group.

I know the physios do their best and do understand what he is going thru to a point but we know even more from first hand point of view, i am just a bit knew myself and have been lucky not to have had any problems up to now and i have a positive attitude to my situation without expecting too much.

Any helpful advice would be good, thanks.

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Lili,

I agree with Steve and Sheila.. This site is to help amputees and peds a like you never know if a guest is here searching for information to help a family member then they read something that can help them. We are all here for one reason or another and hopefully along the way we can encourage, help and support a member or even a guest. So take it easy and when you are able to post then post. YOU WERE MISSED..

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